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Spring Wildflowers

Here is a short list of native and non-native(*) plants which begin to flower before mid May. Mid to late April is the best time to seek out the early woodland wildflowers while May is better for most prairie species. Woodland wildflowers are most easily found in Devonwood Conservation Area and the LaSalle Woodlot (Brunet Park). Ojibway Park was formerly open savanna and still lacks common woodland flowers such as trilliums. Prairie wildflowers should be sought out in Tallgrass Prairie Heritage Park, Spring Garden Prairie (off Spring Garden Road) and the Ojibway Prairie Provincial Nature Reserve.

The primary ecological advantage in early flowering is that this is the only time of year when bright sunlight penetrates to the ground layer. In the summer forests are deep in shade and very few woodland wildflowers could store enough energy to bloom. Even open prairies support such a thick growth of vegetation that little light actually reaches the ground. As the growing season progresses each succession of blooms are taller and more robust, a summer long competition to reach sunshine.


  • Equisetum arvense Common Horsetail
  • Arisaema atrorubens Jack-in-the-Pulpit
  • Erythronium americanum Yellow Trout Lily
  • Hypoxis hirsuta Yellow Star-grass
  • Sisyrinchium albidum Blue-eyed Grass
  • Smilacina stellata Star-flowered False Solomon's Seal
  • Smilax lasioneura Carrion Flower
  • Symplocarpus foetidus Skunk Cabbage
  • Trillium grandiflorum White Trillium
  • Uvularia sessilifolia Merrybells, Wild Oats
  • Acer rubrum Red Maple
  • Amelanchier laevis Juneberry
  • Corylus americana American Hazel
  • Crataegus mollis Red-fruited Thorn
  • Fraxinus pensylvanica Green Ash
  • Lindera benzoin Spice Bush
  • Lonicera dioica Glaucous Honeysuckle
  • Populus deltoides Cottonwood
  • Populus tremuloides Trembling Aspen
  • Prunus americana American Plum
  • Prunus virginiana Choke Cherry
  • Pyrus coronaria Wild Crab
  • Quercus palustris Pin Oak
  • Ribes americanum Wild Black Currant
  • Rubus flagellaris Common Dewberry
  • Salix discolor Pussy Willow
  • Salix humilis Prairie Willow
  • Sambucus racemosa Common Elderberry
  • Sassafras albidum Sassafras
  • Ulmus americana White Elm
  • Xanthoxylum americanum Prickly Ash
  • Actaea rubra Red Baneberry
  • Alliaria officinalis *Garlic Mustard*
  • Anemone quinquefolia Wood Anemone
  • Antennaria neglecta Pussytoes
  • Antennaria plantainifolia Pussytoes
  • Aquilegia canadensis Wild Columbine
  • Aremaria serpyllifolia Thyme-leaved Sandwort
  • Capsella bursa-pastoris *Shepherd's Purse*
  • Cardamine bulbosa Spring Cress
  • Cardamine douglassii Purple Spring Cress
  • Cerastium vulgatum *Common Mouse-eared Chickweed*
  • Claytonia virginica Spring Beauty
  • Comandra umbellata False Toad-flax
  • Descrainia pinnata Tansy-mustard
  • Diplotaxis muralis *Wall-rocket*
  • Erigeron philadelphicus Early Fleabane
  • Erysimum asperum *Prairie Rocket*
  • Erysimum cheiranthoides *Wormseed-mustard*
  • Floerkea prosperpinacoides False Mermaid
  • Fragaria virginiana Wild Strawberry
  • Galium aparine Cleavers
  • Geranium maculatum Wild Geranium
  • Glechoma hederacea *Ground Ivy*
  • Hesperis matronalis *Dame's Rocket*
  • Lepidium campestre *Field-cress*
  • Lepidium virginicum *Poor-man's Pepper*
  • Lithospermum canescens Hoary Puccoon
  • Osmorhiza longistylis Sweet Cicely
  • Parietaria pensylvanica Pellitory
  • Pastinaca sativa *Wild Parsnip*
  • Pedicularis canadensis Wood-betony
  • Phlox divaricata Blue Phlox
  • Potentilla anserina Silver-weed
  • Ranunculus abortivus Kidney-leaved Buttercup
  • Ranunculus fascicularis Early Buttercup
  • Ranunculus septentrionalis Swamp Buttercup
  • Senecio pauperculus Balsam Ragwort
  • Taenidia integerrima Yellow Pimpernel
  • Taraxacum officinale *Common Dandelion*
  • Thalictrum dioicum Early Meadow Rue
  • Thlaspi arvense *Penny-cress*
  • Triosteum perfoliatum Tinker's-weed
  • Vaccinium vacillans Early Sweet Blueberry
  • Veronica peregrina Purslane Speedwell
  • Viola conspersa Dog-Violet
  • Viola cucullata Blue Marsh Violet
  • Viola pubescens Downy Yellow Violet
  • Viola sagittata Arrow-leaved Violet
  • Viola sororia Wood Violet
  • Zizia aurea Golden Alexanders

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Please cite this page as:
Pratt, Paul D. 1998. Spring Wildflowers of the Ojibway Prairie Complex (Version 14MARCH98). Ojibway Nature Centre Home Page. Department of Parks & Recreation, Windsor, Ontario. http://www.ojibway.ca/apr_flrs.htm

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Information last updated : 14 march 1998
URL of this page: http://www.ojibway.ca/apr_flrs.htm
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